The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Bill is due to be debated in the House of Com0mons on Tuesday 10th January.
The SNP has a number of the concerns with this Bill. We called for the Bill to be amended to reduce the amount of money the Government will be able to give to the CDC, and for it to be clearer about how the work of the CDC helps to reduce poverty overseas and meet the Sustainable Development Goals. We also supported amendments to improve the transparency of the CDC and to stop it using offshore tax havens in its investment processes. Unfortunately, the Tory UK Government has so far rejected all of these proposals.
Please be assured that the SNP is fully committed to the target of spending 0.7% of the country’s wealth on international aid. The White Paper on Independence for Scotland, Scotland’s Future, even said that an SNP-led government of an independent Scotland would look in time to go beyond this target. We recognise the moral duty on wealthy countries to help our sisters and brothers in greatest need overseas.
You may be aware that the Scottish Government has an International Development Fund of around £9million each year, which supports projects tackling poverty and hunger in countries like Malawi. The Scottish Government has also recently announced a contribution of £250,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for aid to Yemen.